Can RFID Monitor Patients?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan RFID Monitor Patients?
RFID Journal Staff asked 2 years ago

I need to monitor via an app, text, email notification or local alarm when a special-needs person enters an otherwise public space. How can I use RFID or another tag worn by a subject to trigger an alert to a caregiver?

—Patrick

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Patrick,

There are a variety of patient-monitoring RFID systems on the market today (see What You Need to Know About RFID Patient-Management Solutions). These use active RFID transponders and readers around a hospital or clinic. A patient is tracked in real time, and if someone enters an area where he or she doesn’t belong, or nears an exit, an alert will be transmitted to a nurse to assist that person.

I am unsure whether this solution would work for you, as it would not be clear if a special-needs person is in a specific building or in multiple locations. RFID works well at a defined facility, but installing readers across multiple buildings can be expensive.

If a special-needs person were in a defined building and you simply wanted to know if he or she were passing through a specific doorway or two, you would not require a real-time location system. It would be less expensive to use a passive UHF RFID transponder on the person, and to have readers at the one or two doorways you wanted to cover. When a person moved past those readers into a public area, the tag would be read and an alert would be sent. Building the right system would depend on exactly what type of monitoring was required.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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